Selcuk and Ephesus

Full set of Selcuk and Ephesus photos are here

We got to Selcuk (pronounced ‘sell-chook’) feeling a bit jet-lagged after staying up all night for the ANZAC Day dawn service in Gallipoli. Although we had a nap in the afternoon of Anzac Day and an extra night in Eceabat to recover (while the rest of the tour group spent five hours on the bus going back to Istanbul, which must have been hellish) we were still heavily in sleep debt. The bus to Selcuk was simple and the hotel just a short walk from the station. We checked in quickly and had a late dinner underneath the Roman aqueduct, a very delicious home-cooked meal, which we didn’t appreciate quite so much in our dazed state.

Selcuk is a nice little town with a great pedestrian area full of cafes and small hotels. It has a very genial feel with lazy dogs and cute cats everywhere. It was just the place to unwind a little with the only hitch being that the best ruins in Turkey are a short drive away. This threw a spanner into our rest plans, but we graced the ruins with our presence, along with all the other tourists in Turkey. The setting was lovely with red poppies blanketing the grassy hills. Ephesus was a large town in its day, and made the capital of Asia Minor by the Romans, which you partly comprehend when you learn that only about 20% of the city has been excavated and even so it’s a large site. I’m going to sound like a massive travel wanker now, but we preferred the ruins in Jerash, Jordan which were more fully formed and less crowded. Ephesus had some amazing structures, especially the villas which still have a lot of the original mosaics, but it didn’t grab us like Jerash and capture our imagination.

We made an attempt at going to the local beach but it was windswept and not a patch on the beaches back home. Back in Selcuk we joined another couple clambering up to the church in the area where apparently John the Baptist ‘retired’ to with Jesus’ mum Mary. We paid a random Turkish guy to show us the back way in which yielded some nice sunset shots, including of the grave of John the Baptist. Really, the best bit of Selcuk was eating in nice cafes and enjoying the breakfast on the terrace of our hotel, bathed in sunlight with killer views of the town below and castle above on its perch.

Full set of Selcuk and Ephesus photos are here

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